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This Is One Very Serious American Muscle Car Collection

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And it's all coming up for grabs in Indianapolis next month.

Collectors spend years – lifetimes, even – assembling their dream garages. But what happens to their beloved collections after they leave this world? Sometimes their families keep them, and sometimes they're sold off. And the latter is just what's happening to the collection of the late Steven Juliano.

One of the most renowned collectors of American muscle cars, Juliano spent 30 years putting this collection together, doggedly hunting down the best specimens of his favorite cars. And his dedication shows. The Shelby Cobras alone represent some of the finest examples of the breed.

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There's a blue '67 Shelby 427 SC, for example, that's one of just 27 originally made. The red '62 Cobra was the only Stage III 289 the factory ever produced. The yellow '65 is one of just five 289 Cobra Dragonsnakes. And the silver '66 427, which Juliano brought back from Japan, is fitted with the most desirable array of options.

Those are just the Cobras, and there's much more besides. The Corvette-powered Cheetah race car is the fourth of just 11 made. And the '69 Plymouth Barracuda is equipped with a floral-pattern "Mod Top," and remains a spectacular vestige of a bygone era.

The burgundy '69 Dodge Dart Swinger concept is truly one of a kind, originally unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show. But the pride of the Juliano collection is surely the trio of Plymouth "Rapid Transit" cars.

The green '70 Duster, orange '71 Road Runner, and gold '71 Hemi Road Runner were part of a promotional tour that went across the country to showcase Plymouth's muscle cars. And rarely have they been seen together in the decades since. Now they'll be sold off to the highest bidder at Mecum's forthcoming Indy auction next month, giving muscle-car collectors the rare chance to follow in Juliano's footsteps.